Mar 01, 2024  
Rensselaer Catalog 2007-2008 
Rensselaer Catalog 2007-2008 [Archived Catalog]

Architectural Sciences (Concentration in Built Ecologies) M.S.

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The program is offered to graduate architects and engineers, or others in comparable fields who are interested in researching architectural design in the context of emergent technologies moving built environments in the direction of clean, self-sustaining eco-systems. Students completing the M.S. will:

  • Demonstrate general competence and base knowledge of the major principals governing dynamic bioclimatic design and the physics of energy and material science.
  • Productively work within an inter-disciplinary design environment.
  • Have acquired thorough knowledge of a chosen area of emergent technologies as it affects and informs design possibilities for the built environment.
  • Demonstrate critical rigor and competence in the technical analysis of design problems.
  • Possess the ability to apply such technical analysis to design problems and project new solutions based on the cross-referencing of information sets from multiple-disciplines.
  • Display competence in the use of relevant computing platforms that facilitate the cross-referencing of such information across disciplines and scales.
  • Be able to critically situate the above with an awareness of the broader socio-political implications, importance, and relevance of these efforts.

To foster an immediate intelligent and productive discourse in a concentrated one-year interdisciplinary program that joins students and faculty from a variety of backgrounds and expertise, a common reading list is issued upon admission to the program for critical evaluation and response to the material prior to start of the program. At the start of the fall semester, each student is required to submit a Plan of Study to his or her adviser for review and approval by the program committee. The plan must include the anticipated courses, concentration, and area of research interest for further development.

Concentration in Built Ecologies Curriculum


  • ARCH 6962   Topics in Ecological Design Credit Hours: 3
  • ARCH 6963   Integrative Advances: Materials, Technologies & Productions Credit Hours: 3
  • Concentration Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 1 below)
  • Concentration Elective Credit Hours: 3
    (See footnote 1 below)


  • Concentration Elective Credit Hours: 2-3
    (See footnote 1 below)
  • ARCH 6940 - Interdisciplinary Research/Studio Credit Hours: 3
    (Or interdisciplinary studio format Credit Hours: 4)
    (See footnote 2 below)


  • Thesis/Project Completion + Presentation

The degree requires 30 credit hours.



  1. Concentration Electives require the approval of the thesis adviser and the program committee, based on the student’s experience and specific course of study.
  2. The Interdisciplinary Research Studio is comprised of a design research investigation and may consist of a faculty led group project or be part of an ongoing interdisciplinary faculty research project approved by the program committee.
  3. Both the Master’s Thesis and the Research Project are individual projects that will be conducted alongside or within current research streams at the School or Institute however, the research project may also be conducted within a larger interdisciplinary research group or project.

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